[I made 5 rice cooker cups worth this time] Pour in a little less water than usual to cook the rice. Add the kombu and leave the rice to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Add the salt to the rice cooker and mix lightly. Use the "sushi rice" setting (or if your rice cooker doesn't have one, just use the regular setting) to cook the rice.
Mix the vinegar and sugar together. ※Microwave just before adding it to the rice to about 40-50°C, and mix well to dissolve the sugar.
When the rice is cooked, take out the kombu and invert the rice cooker bowl to take out the rice into a plastic container or bowl. Swirl in the warm sushi vinegar from Step 3, and quickly mix it into the rice in a cutting motion.
Cover the container or bowl with a lid and leave for 7 minutes to steam and let the rice absorb the flavors. If the bowl doesn't have a lid, use a pot lid or a cutting board to cover.
Remove the lid, and mix the rice using a cut-and-fold motion while fanning it to cool it down. (This will make the rice glossy).
If you are making chirashi sushi, mix the ingredients in while the rice is still warm. If you're making sushi rolls, let the rice cool down to about body temperature first.
I made Western style chirashi sushi Recipe ID: 1175914 this time. The additional ingredients are easy so you can make this sushi anytime you like.
This is the big plastic container my mother uses, that has seen many years of service. I borrowed it from her this time I made 5 rice cooker cups' worth of rice this time. Normally I make less, so I just use a regular bowl to mix the rice.
Story Behind this Recipe
Okayama, where I live, is famous for chirashi sushi (barazushi)... so my mother and grandmother used to make sushi a lot when I was growing up. This is a recipe they perfected by learning from the pros and adjusting it to their liking. We make it like this with this ingredient ratio in our house. This is also a memo for myself.
※Add the salt when you cook the rice. This sushi rice is not so sweet and has an accentuated vinegar flavor. It will taste just right when you add other ingredients for chirashi sushi, sushi rolls and so on. If you prefer a sweeter tasting sushi rice, you can add more sugar.
※Don't use a wooden sushi oke (barrel); just use a large Tupperware container or a bowl (a big one with a lid) to mix the rice. ※The vinegar will sink into the rice better if you warm it up beforehand. ※Once you mix the vinegar in, let the rice steam so that the vinegar flavor settles in for a better end result.